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Couple questions regarding winter grouse work. I've been out a handful of times since the 2nd season started and have moved a few birds. They've either been long shots or sitting in trees. Does scenting get alot tougher for dogs when it's as cold, dry and snowy as it's been this winter? What kind of cover are you working; fruit, transitional popple/pine, swamp?

I hit a cover yesterday and saw a ton of these tracks...are these grouse?
 

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Are there any grouse footprints approaching those two spots? Those look like launch points to me. A couple birds walked toward each other and then flushed.
Remember a grouse will still prefer to walk anywhere as opposed to flying, look for whatever ground cover is left in the woods, deadfalls, pine boughs, blowdowns, etc.. Swamps and that type habitat( alders) is also a big grouse magnet in the winter.
In this link are a couple pics of the cover I hunted tonight. I think it's high bush cranberry.
http://www.uplandjournal.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard312a/ikonboard.cgi?;act=ST;f=2;t=16619
 

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I love finding those in the snow! Looks like a snow angel, and usually means there's grouse around. :D I found a spot last year where a grouse had buried itself in the snow to roost the night before and the wing marks where it took flight that morning......a little while later the dog brought him to hand. ;)

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #5
2ESRGR8 said:
Are there any grouse footprints approaching those two spots? Those look like launch points to me. A couple birds walked toward each other and then flushed.
Remember a grouse will still prefer to walk anywhere as opposed to flying, look for whatever ground cover is left in the woods, deadfalls, pine boughs, blowdowns, etc.. Swamps and that type habitat( alders) is also a big grouse magnet in the winter.
In this link are a couple pics of the cover I hunted tonight. I think it's high bush cranberry.
http://www.uplandjournal.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard312a/ikonboard.cgi?;act=ST;f=2;t=16619
Scott,

Great report on UJ and congrats on the successful hunt.

Those tracks I saw were all the same as that picture I posted but mostly single wing. There were no "walking" tracks at all which I thought was kind of strange also. Here's another picture from the same area...there were a ton of tracks just like this one that all seemed real fresh. I was surprised I didn't move anything from this cover.
 

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I can't get a size perspective from those photos. If the wingspread on the snow is 12", if may be a grouse. If it's 4", it's probably just a tweety. I also don't see a series of footprints approaching the launch site. Grouse prefer to walk and leave a 1-2" footprint, usually in a "shuffling" pattern with the feet very close together but still separate.

If there were a whole bunch of the wing patterns in the snow, I doubt they were grouse. I could follow grouse tracks for 50 yards before I find the launch site. If you have a bunch of launch site, it was probably tweeties popping down the snow for a quick snack and then popping over to another spot. Grouse would just walk over there.
 

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I agree does not look like Grouse to me. Mattes and I hunted an area yesterday and never found any tracks.

Jeff the wings look to close to be a grouse.


Also I still think there is too much snow on the ground and birds are spending most of there time in the trees.....


We hunted prime winter habitat yesterday and never moved a bird. The bird Matt shot Monday was pure luck in a micro habitat area full of fruit.

Fritz
 

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Here are some tracks colehatch.....
 
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